CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A report from the Charleston County School District said that none of the players involved in a postgame ritual at Academic Magnet High School thought the event was racist.
The report released to local media outlets Monday said the players did not think that chanting and smashing and eating watermelons after a football victory had racial connotations.
Associate Superintendent Lou Martin and a consultant questioned the players and coaches after a school board member raised concerns last month that the team’s tradition perpetuated a racial stereotype demeaning to African-Americans.
Martin fired Coach Bud Walpole several days after the interviews. Walpole was re-hired by School Superintendent Nancy McGinley two days later after parents complained.
McGinley resigned last week, with some board members upset over how she handled the situation.